Driver in fatal Liliendaal crash charged with causing friend’s death

– cops probing reports of witness tampering

Tecona Welcome, who was driving the car that crashed into the Liliendaal bridge last month, resulting in the death of her friend and injury to three others, was yesterday read a charge of causing death and later released on $500,000 bail.

Welcome, 27, of 39 Austin Street, Campbell-ville Georgetown, who was last month charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and was placed on $20,000 bail, stood once more before Magistrate Alicia George, who read the charge of causing death by dangerous driving to her.

It was alleged that on June 24, at Liliendaal Railway Embankment, Welcome drove motor car PSS 7195 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Debra Pompey.

­Tecona Welcome

Welcome, who appeared with a cast on her left hand, was not required to plead to the charge.

Attorney Nigel Anthony, who represented Welcome, asked the court that his client be released on the same bail that she was granted for the DUI charge last month. Anthony appealed for sympathy and highlighted the fact that Welcome, who serves as a primary caregiver in her home, is still grieving for the friend she lost in the crash.

However, Police Prose-cutor David Goodridge sternly opposed bail being granted to the woman. Goodridge noted that when Welcome was granted bail on the DUI charge, it was with the condition that she report to the Sparendaam Police Station at different intervals. The prosecutor said Welcome has not honoured the conditions of the bail, resulting in officers of the station making several efforts to contact her.

Goodridge surmised that if the accused were also granted bail for the causing of death offence, she would not adhere to the conditions. “A life was lost and she has a charge before the court on DUI,” the prosecutor reminded the court.

Dead: Debra Pompey

Goodridge also told the court that there were reports of “tampering with the witnesses.” He did not go into details but said the reports were being investigated by the police.

Anthony, however, told the court that his client has been complying with conditions of her bail and will do the same if granted bail again on the causing death charge. He added that he had accompanied Welcome during all her visits to the police station.

Despite the prosecutor’s objections, Magistrate George granted Welcome bail, while noting that she has no antecedents in any court. However, the accused was granted her release on $500,000 bail, with the condition that she reports to the Sparendaam Police Station every second Friday of every month and that she lodge her passport at the court. The magistrate warned Welcome that failure to comply with the condition would result in the forfeiture of her bail. The matter was adjourned until August 4 for report.

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